Heckler & Koch VP70
|Heckler & Koch VP70|
|Place of origin||West Germany|
|Used by||See Users|
|Manufacturer||Heckler & Koch|
|Weight||820 grams (28.9 oz) empty|
|Length||204 millimetres (8.0 in)|
|Barrel length||116 millimetres (4.6 in)|
|Height||142 millimetres (5.6 in)|
9×21mm IMI (VP70Z only)
|Rate of fire||2200 rounds/min (3-round burst mode)|
|Effective range||50 m|
|Feed system||18 round box magazine|
The VP70 is a 9 mm, 18-round, double action only, semi-automatic/three-round burst capable polymer frame pistol manufactured by German arms firm Heckler & Koch GmbH. VP stands for Volkspistole (literally "People's Pistol"), and the designation 70 was for the year of the first edition: 1970.
It was the first polymer-framed pistol and predates the Glock 17 by 12 years. The weapon weighed 820 g (28.9 oz) unloaded, lighter than most other metal framed pistols of the time. Although it was the first polymer pistol, the Remington Nylon 66 rifle introduced in 1959 was the first polymer-framed firearm in production.
One unique feature of this weapon involved the combination stock/holster for the martial version of the VP70. The stock incorporates a selector switch that, when mounted, allows selective fire. Cyclic rate of fire for the three-round burst is 2200 rounds per minute. When not mounted, the stock acts as a holster. The VP70 uses a spring-loaded striker like a Glock, instead of a conventional firing pin. It is double action only so the trigger pull is relatively heavy. In lieu of a blade front sight, the VP70 uses a polished ramp with a central notch in the middle to provide the illusion of a dark front post. Contrary to a common misconception, the VP70 does indeed have a manual safety. It is the circular button located immediately behind the trigger and is a common crossblock safety.
The handgun comes in two varieties. The "Z" (Zivil, civilian) variant is a semiautomatic only version, and although many have no provision to mount a stock, some of them can have a stock fitted after minor alterations to the handgrip (however they remain semiautomatic only); the "M" (Militär, military) variant is burst capable. The VP70 was produced from 1970 until 1989. Four hundred VP70-Z pistols were made chambered in 9×21mm IMI; these samples were made primarily for the civilian market of Italy, where the use of the 9×19mm Parabellum is a sole privilege of military and law enforcement agencies. All of the VP70-Z pistols sold in Italy can mount the stock-holster but are not selective-fire capable.
- Kersten, Manfred; Schmid, Walter (1999). HK- Die Offizielle Geschichte der Oberndorfer Firma Heckler & Koch [The Official History of the Oberndorf Firm Heckler & Koch] (in German). Weispfennig. ISBN 978-3000050916.
- David Higginbotham. "The HK VP70 The First Polymer Framed Pistol". Guns.com. Retrieved 2013-11-10. "HK says the VP [...] means Volks Pistole or People’s Pistol [...] This is where another (erroneous) name for the pistol comes from. Vollautomatische Pistole."
- Jack Lewis (12 September 2007). The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons. Gun Digest Books. pp. 250–. ISBN 978-1-4402-2652-6. "Around 1970, Heckler & Koch developed the selective-fire VP70 (VolksPistole: People's Pistol) with the reported hope that it would be chosen to arm village militias in Vietnam."
- Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35th edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- HKPro.com: Heckler & Koch VP70
- Modern Firearms: Heckler und Koch VP 70
- Heckler & Koch VP 70Z Specifications